Reed Community

Winter Break Brings Mentoring to the Fore

Students participate in Winter Shadows far and wide.

By Alice Harra | December 18, 2017

Policy Analyst at the Oregon Health Authority. Chief Conservator at the Museum of New Mexico. VP Head of Research, at Juno Therapeutics. Mechanical Engineer at NASA. Reporter at the Wall Street Journal. These are just a few of the folks who students will be shadowing over the academic break.

In January, 200 Reedies are fanning out across the globe to visit alumni and parents in their professional worksites. The opportunity to "job shadow" these mentors builds confidence and connections for students.

The Winter Shadows program, managed by the Center for Life Beyond Reed, started six years ago with 30 student-alumni pairs and has grown to several hundred opportunities for Reedies to explore their purpose and career interests. Students will get a chance to look over the shoulders of a sponsoring alumni or parent, depending on the opportunity, for two days to two weeks during January break.

In all fields from science to education to healthcare to technology and more, January job shadow can be just the first step in a deeper relationship and more clarity about career steps. Here are some great outcomes from previous years:

  • Rob Haas ’16 shadowed Michael McPherson at Corey McPherson Nash in 2015. He parlayed that shadow into a summer internship with Saatchi & Saatchi in NYC and subsequently was hired as a junior creative at Digitas Life Brands in New Jersey.
  • Julie Selker ’15 shadowed at The Bulleit Group (PR firm, San Francisco) in Jan 2015, and they created a position for her upon her graduation.
  • Cris Cambianica ’16 shadowed Kati Sweaney ’06 in 2016 in Reed's admission office and subsequently got a job in admission at Occidental upon graduation.
  • Caleb Codding ’18 shadowed Shula Neuman ’91 at St. Louis Public Radio, and transformed his shadow into a summer internship on NPR (NYC) in summer 2017.
  • Rachel Ellinger ’14 shadowed Eileen Mahoney, an otolaryngologist and ENT. She is now in school at Northwestern working on her AuD in Audiology. "My learning objectives were to gain a better understanding of the field of otolaryngology and audiology and to gain contacts and references. The opportunity (to shadow) went above and beyond what I expected . . . I gained a better understanding of what being a doctor in both a clinical and hospital setting is like and found out more about other health careers I never knew existed."

We are truly grateful to the hundreds of alumni and parents who have warmly offered to sponsor a student shadow in their workplace or host a Reedie in their home. Learn more about our Winter Shadows program and how you can participate.

Tags: Life Beyond Reed, Students